Fear and Sex Appeal of Advertising

810 Words3 Pages
Advertising: Appeals to fear and sex Above all else, advertising is designed to get people's attention. It is not designed to be particularly moral or ethical in its orientation. That is why advertising often appeals to such base, human instincts as fear and sex. The sexual element of the one-sided appeal of the Secret Deodorant commercial entitled "Fear of Being Exposed" is evidenced by the use of a young, slender beautiful woman in a party dress lifting up her arms and looking seductively at the camera. The deodorant commercial suggests to the targeted woman consumer that she wants to be desirable, which means selecting a deodorant that does not leave heavy build-up under the arms. The ad suggests that beauty is the important concern for women, and women should want to seem sexy like the image of the woman in the photograph; it also encourages them to monitor themselves to ensure that their personal 'upkeep' meets social norms.' The persuasive appeal is conveyed through a very central, direct route. Secret's advertising campaign is a blatant appeal using sex along with a subtle, peripheral appeal to fear. Other fear-based appeals are not nearly so understated, however. Particularly during political campaigns, fear is often used to motivate people to vote in a particular manner in a similarly one-sided, direct fashion. For example, during the 2012 presidential campaign, the Romney campaign ran an advertisement with General Tommy Franks saying that it was necessary
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